Today seems to be one of those rare days when the crystal ball is not overcast – let’s just hope it is accurate. Congress comes back in September and it has two things it must get done: fund the government via either a budget (which isn’t going to happen) or a continuing resolution (CR) and raise the debt ceiling. I have a prediction on both as well as a simple solution to one of the nation’s raging debates. Let’s explore.
The most important thing for Congress to do is raise the debt ceiling. This is just an arbitrary number that allows the Treasury to borrow more money to pay the debt that Congress has already authorized. If we were to fail to raise the debt ceiling America would end up defaulting on its debts which would have devastating national and international economic ramifications. Despite right wing mythology and President Trump’s crazy tweets, a clean raise of the debt ceiling is both crucial and that simple.
The next most important order of business is to fund the government. Washington loves to kick the can (and has for decades). Doubt me? I simply offer Korea as an example. A pox on both houses, but that’s the way it has been for decades. Forget a federal budget; come October 1st we will be operating under a CR.
The other night during his insane rant in Phoenix President Trump promised to shut down the government if he didn’t get funding for his equally insane wall with Mexico. I neither think Speaker Paul Ryan is very bright nor a great leader. I disagree with almost every policy and tactic of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s, but I think he is a master politician. In any event both of them are already on the record saying there will not be a shutdown and stating it would be a terrible idea. They are both correct on both counts.
Trump is a walking self-contradiction and often can’t stay on the same side of an issue for a day let alone a week. The only reason he promised the crowd in Phoenix that he would get the wall funded – whatever happened to Mexico paying for it? – is because they are the hardest core of his base and he is desperate to keep his base together. He will break his promise to them. He has failed on every other promise with the exception of de jure and de facto deregulation which will end up costing the country billions if not trillions in the long run. He needs to put up what looks like a tough fight and have something resembling a grey area to weasel out through. I think I figured out how this scenario will play out.
The will be the usual drama about getting a CR passed. It will come down to the eleventh hour in late September. The CR will be relatively clean (which will necessitate some Democrats voting for it in the House) and will expire in December. In order to get Trump to sign it (read: save face) the “deal” will contain a “promise” for Congress to revisit funding the wall in December. That promise won’t be worth the air it is spoken through, but Bubba will buy it and think Trump is working hard for him. In fact Trump will send his surrogates out to the Sunday morning political shows claiming victory. By the time December comes other events (not the least of which will be Trump’s and Congress’ desire to get out of town for the holidays), will overshadow the wall and another CR will get passed without wall funding.
Someone who is advising Trump knows a bit about how the government and economy work since he jeopardized the CR and not the even more crucial debt ceiling. Then again maybe Trump just got lucky; after all it’s a 50-50 proposition.
On another note
I’m getting tired of this disingenuous defense of confederate monuments and I want to put the debate to rest with a simple litmus test. If the person(s) depicted defended the United States of America the statue stays; if they fought the United States of America we remove the statue from public land.
While we are at it here is a simple rule for flags. We have one American flag. Currently it has fifty white stars on a field of blue in its upper left hand corner. It has seven red stripes separated by six white stripes, all of equal width, on its remainder.
The defense of the confederate monuments and flags we are hearing has nothing to do with history or heritage. It has everything to do with hate and blaming their own despair on the fact that their ancestors’ wealth was measured in slaves which they feel the war unfairly took away from them and/or a way to justify prejudice, racism and xenophobia.
Trump lies to his base like he lies to everyone else. The difference between them and the majority of Americans is that they are gullible enough to believe him. Just like at the amusement park, the ride will be scary but at the end the operator will simply ask you to get off – he already has your money.
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